Depicting Romantic Couples in Advertising: the Roles of Gender and Race on Audience Perceptions

Previous research on race effects in advertising has focused on comparisons between racial groups and on evaluations towards models of different races. Potential gender effects within and between racial groups, however, are often overlooked. This paper focuses on the interrelationship between gender and race. In particular, the selectivity hypothesis is used to examine how Black and White men and women evaluate print ads portraying Black, White, and interracial couples. This research extends previous research since (i) the gender literature has not considered the influence of racial cues on processing strategies among men and women, and (ii) the racial literature has not fully addressed potential gender processing strategies in their studies. Hypotheses relating to Black and White men and women’s ability to identify with models of same and different races were supported. Results also suggest that ability to identify with the model mediates the audience’s attitude towards the ad.


Michael Callow, Charles McMellon, Dawn Lerman, and David Luna (2005) ,"Depicting Romantic Couples in Advertising: the Roles of Gender and Race on Audience Perceptions", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7, eds. Karin M. Ekstrom and Helene Brembeck, Goteborg, Sweden : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 153-154.


Michael Callow, Morgan State University
Charles McMellon, Hofstra University
Dawn Lerman, Fordham University
David Luna, Baruch College


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7 | 2005

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